American Rescue Plan Act Funds Support Library Collections

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On Tuesday, March 8, Santa Barbara City Council allocated $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the Library’s collection budget, especially digital content.

During the pandemic, the Library quickly pivoted to provide services by mail, virtually, and prioritized public service while maintaining health and safety precautions, even while other libraries within the County closed. SBPL has seen a 57% increase in cardholders from February 2019 to February 2022, and continues to add on average 500 new cardholders a month. Many of these new cardholders are interested in accessing the Library’s digital collections, including ebooks, digital audiobooks, many of the Library’s online learning programs, such as Mango Languages, Consumer Reports, and Linkedin Learning. ARPA funding will help meet this increased demand, and allow SBPL to continue to curate excellent collections of physical books as well.

The Library has a team of professional and dedicated staff that in addition to managing the Library’s digital and print collections, support community education in a multitude of ways. All of SBPL’s Librarians have Masters in Library and Information Science degrees, and many have additional advanced degrees or specialized training, which they use to provide excellent service to the community.

“The City of Santa Barbara has invested in professional librarian positions in the Library, which allows us to bring professional expertise to the collections, programming, and services we provide to the community,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente. “I am proud to work with such dedicated and creative individuals.”

SBPL’s professional Librarians continue to be the engine of innovation and creativity for the Library. Each member of the Librarian team has unique skillsets and areas of responsibility.

Together, SBPL librarians work together to develop print and digital collections that provide the community access to informational, educational, and recreational reading materials, as well as teach classes to all ages to support community education. They develop programs to support science, technology, arts, culture, and literary arts opportunities to the community. They support civic engagement and community connections, and work with entrepreneurs, businesses, and job-seekers to support economic development. Through collaboration with nonprofits and community organizations, they extend the reach of their programs and services. SBPL’s resources are available and used by patrons throughout Santa Barbara County—from tutors and learners in Goleta and Carpinteria, to residents of Santa Maria using SBPL’s Career Online High School Program to earn a diploma.

We’re highlighting staff with photos and bios on Instagram. Search for the hashtag #SBPLMeetTheStaff or read their full bios on the Library’s website at SBPLibrary.org/LibrarianTeam.



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